Cluster Lashes vs Individual Lashes: What's the Difference?

The debate between cluster lashes and individual extensions is becoming more important as the eyelash business grows. In the past, makeup artists preferred cluster lashes, but lash professionals opt for safer alternatives, such as premade volume lash fans, which are taking their place. This change shows that the industry is serious about making things safer and more effective.

If you want to learn more about the differences between cluster and individual lashes, this guide will provide you with the information you need to make choices that are best for your clients.

What are cluster lashes?

Cluster lashes refer to a grouping of individual lashes that are joined together, commonly referred to as 'clustered', and affixed at one end, resulting in a thick base. Small, cut sections of a strip lash are frequently used in their construction.

Their bases typically exhibit considerable width and weight. These eyelashes are commonly referred to as party lashes and are occasionally provided as a form of express eyelash extensions in salons.

These clusters are made of multiple extensions and glued at the bottom in one chunk of lashes, which has a fat base. For clusters, artists must use only water-soluble adhesive, and clusters shouldn't be worn longer than 2–3 days.

What are individual lashes?

Individual lashes are employed to achieve a more realistic 'Classic' lash appearance, whereas any quantity exceeding a single lash is denoted as a fuller lash appearance.

Classic lashes are composed of synthetic fibres and are available in two forms: single lashes or a fan-like structure consisting of multiple lashes connected together, known as volume lash fans.

Each individual lash is expertly applied with precision, utilising both classic lashes and volume lashes. The set can be customised by incorporating various lengths, thicknesses, and curls, allowing for a personalised appearance adapted to each client's lash length, style, and the shape of face and eyes.

The difference between classic and cluster lashes?

Classic lashes involve the careful attachment of individual lash extensions, one by one, to each individual natural lash. Using semi-permanent lash adhesive, these extensions usually last for two to four weeks. To keep their fullness and beauty, they need to be filled in regularly. But such delicate work needs to be done by a trained lash professional to make sure the best results and safety.

Cluster lashes, on the other hand, are a different style. They are put on over several natural eyelashes at the same time and are made up of groups of lash extensions that are stuck together at the base. This method uses a lash adhesive that dissolves in water, making it easy to take off after 1 to 3 days. Cluster lashes can make your eyes look bigger and better quickly, but they're only meant to be worn for a short time and don't need to be applied with as much care as regular lashes.

Let's explore these differences in detail through the following comparison table:


Classic Lashes

Cluster Lashes

Application Method

Individual lash extensions applied one by one

Bunch of lash extensions glued together at the base


Semi-permanent lash adhesive

Water-soluble lash adhesive


Lasts up to 2-4 weeks

Removed after 1-3 days


Requires in-fills

Typically worn for a day

Professional Requirement

Must be applied by a lash professional

Can be applied by individuals with caution


Synthetic fibres

Typically made from small cut sections of strip lashes


Lighter weight, natural feel

Bases tend to be wide and heavy


Shed with natural lashes

Do not shed with natural lashes, can pull natural lashes out


Lower risk of allergic reactions and infection

Higher risk of allergic reactions and infection


Applied to each individual lash with precision

Glued on top of each other along the lash line

People who are thinking about getting eyelash extensions need to know these differences so they can make smart choices based on their personal tastes and the possible risks that come with each type of extension.

Why should cluster lashes be avoided?

When considering the use of cluster lashes, it's essential to weigh the potential risks and benefits. As a lash technician, it's crucial to understand why cluster lashes should be avoided in certain circumstances. Here are key reasons to reconsider their use:

  • Not suitable for semi-permanent beauty treatments: Cluster lashes should not be used as an alternative to classic or volume lashes for clients seeking semi-permanent eyelash extensions. They are more appropriate for short-term beauty treatments similar to strip lashes.
  • Potential damage: Cluster lashes can pose a risk to the health of natural lashes, potentially causing significant damage if not removed promptly.
  • Clumpy appearance: The application of cluster lashes may result in a clumpy appearance, detracting from the desired aesthetic and natural look.
  • Safety concerns: Using cluster lashes can raise safety concerns, particularly if the adhesive used is not formulated for skin contact.

While premade fans offer a convenient solution for achieving volume, cluster lashes present risks and limitations that should be carefully considered by lash technicians.


Are individual lashes better than clusters?

Individual lashes are generally considered better than cluster lashes for several reasons. They offer a more natural look and feel, last longer, and are less likely to cause damage to natural lashes compared to cluster lashes.

Do cluster lashes last long?

Cluster lashes typically do not last as long as individual lashes. They are designed for short-term wear and are usually removed after 1 to 3 days.

What are the pros of cluster lashes?

They are good for those looking for a quick and dramatic enhancement and the ability to provide instant volume and fullness to the lashes, making them ideal for special occasions or events. Additionally, cluster lashes can be applied more rapidly than individual lashes, saving time for both the client and the technician.

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